If you’ve experienced a technical malfunction or cyber security breach, you know the havoc they can wreak. As email scams, mobile malware, and ransomware attacks rise daily, your business is subject to more threats than ever. That’s why it’s important to have a trustworthy IT team to keep your systems up-to-date—and some IT service methods just don’t pass muster.
A leading management company in St. Louis is an Anderson Technologies’ managed IT services client. When J. O., president of the firm, first met Mark Anderson, her company participated in a free cyber security seminar. At the time, they received break/fix IT support from another local firm.
“As we talked with [Mark] afterwards, he asked questions about what we were currently doing and looked at some of our hardware,” J. O. recalls. “The more we talked, the more they looked at what we had, it became clear that we needed to move away from the break/fix model.”
If you’re contemplating switching from a break/fix IT company to managed IT services—or if you don’t have IT support at all—take the many benefits of managed services into consideration.
Symantec reported an astounding 1,271 successful ransomware events per day in 2016. Ransomware often targets businesses specifically, and the number of attacks is growing. Having a managed services team of cyber security experts can go a long way in protecting you and your assets from crippling cyber attacks.
Before the management firm committed to switching to a managed IT services provider, Anderson conducted a thorough infrastructure analysis that explored multiple layers of cyber security. “He looked at some of our hardware and pointed out that we hadn’t had any updates recently,” J. O. recounts, “which I understand is pretty critical to keeping your hardware secure.”
Anderson Technologies took the wheel. “Several areas needed immediate attention,” Anderson says. “The hardware firewall wasn’t being updated, three servers were missing enterprise-level anti-malware software, offsite backups didn’t exist, and patches weren’t being run regularly.” These security holes hadn’t been addressed by their previous break/fix IT company, leaving J. O.’s company exposed to a wide variety of digital threats.
Lower Long-Term Costs
Compared to a break/fix IT company, managed services is a wiser investment over time. Calling a break/fix company when the worst happens often incurs larger one-time fees without actually solving the root cause. This is something they had to consider when deciding to transition from the break/fix model. “Managed IT services mean that we’re getting proactive service so that we fix things before they become problems,” J. O. says. “I think you get what you pay for.” Putting band-aids on your most important investment—your business—is only going to cost you more money later if issues aren’t resolved as soon as they’re identified.
A break/fix IT company may work for quick fixes, like when you’re blindsided by ransomware or lose a file. But one of the most significant benefits of managed IT services is that you don’t have to be blindsided at all. Managed services covers the bases to predict and prevent technical difficulties your business may face. Most importantly, when something unexpected does happen, you have a team who knows your network inside and out for a speedy resolution. The last thing you need when your workflow is paralyzed is guesswork as someone tries to learn about your environment.
While issues like firewalls and anti-virus software are preventative measures, managed IT services assess many more facets of your business’s technological systems. For example, the management firm didn’t realize that an outdated email infrastructure and a poorly-managed Active Directory server could leave them vulnerable to unrestricted users. With Anderson Technologies combing through their network and practices, the business was able to safeguard their daily work and reduce downtime, in what Anderson called a “dramatic improvement.”
Partnership That Considers Your Company’s Values
Managed IT services means you’ll always have a caring, proactive professional looking out for you. Most managed IT service providers offer both onsite and remote support. Calling your IT support team when you get locked out of your machine, submitting a service ticket online to resolve a minor issue, or having a technician upgrade hardware at your office are just a few examples of what a managed services agreement can do for your business.
Customer service and consideration are qualities that elevate Anderson Technologies and other managed IT service providers. Beyond simply finding the best solution to a problem, managed services aim to connect with your business’s goals and values. This is something that many businesses praise. “We know their environment backwards and forwards,” explains Joe Baker, Anderson Technologies’ Systems Administrator.
When the management firm needed help moving servers and other equipment in their office, the Anderson Technologies experts were immediately onsite to assist. “It was a pretty standard procedure, but some of their environment didn’t come online correctly,” Baker says. “We were right there to recognize and diagnose the problem and get them back up and running in no time because collectively we’ve seen it many times. If we hadn’t been there or they were a small business operating without an IT company or with a break/fix style company, it would’ve been a lot longer downtime.”
Take Pressure Off Your In-House IT Team
If your company relies on in-house IT support, don’t dismiss the prospect of managed IT services altogether. While having an external IT team working in parallel may seem superfluous, it actually benefits everyone.
“Distracted business owners constantly putting out technology fires are unable to focus their energy on their business’s growth and thrilling their customers,” says Anderson. Managed services gives your in-house IT team the freedom to work on bigger picture software issues and creative custom projects. Instead of running from workstation to workstation solving small internal problems, they’re free to dedicate their energy to technology solutions that will impact your bottom line.
The management firm is only one of the businesses Anderson Technologies has introduced to managed IT services. Not only are more companies ditching the traditional break/fix model, but managed services are adding industry-specific compliance and technological advances to their skill set, thereby reducing downtime due to potential IT problems.
“I’d suggest that any company feeling held back by their existing computer and network infrastructure would greatly benefit from investigating what a formal managed IT services relationship could do for them,” says Anderson.
If you’re tired of experiencing glitches in your business’s day-to-day operations, or if you just want to explore your IT options, contact Anderson Technologies today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.394.3001 for a consultation.